, attached to 2014-10-21

Review by Penn42

Penn42 This show is so unjustly shat upon. It is even ranked lower than Seattle, which quite frankly blows my mind. But it makes for an interesting little case-study in how fan conjecture* and expectations contribute to the perception of a show.

By this time in the tour the .net forum was in disarray. Countless threads declaring Fall ’14 a bust and endless arguments found therein had left the forum in shambles. The tour was not living up to expectations. The sky was falling. The tour was only 2 shows old… Somehow a combination of arbitrarily high expectations carried over from Fall ’13 and the hype for an exclusive West Coast tour apparently left the band no room for anything less than a nightly Hampton 3, 2013. It was time for a change, but was it to come in the balmy weather and scenic views of the Santa Barbara Bowl?

According to the rating this show has, no. I say that’s horseshit. Some might say I’m making too much a fuss over an already broken ratings system, but even if I agreed that the ratings system was completely dysfunctional I’d still say this show is rated too far outside the norm to ignore. This show is at least as good as Eugene which was a fairly well received show.

For anyone who loves 7.27.14, you gotta admit that 10.21’s Chalkdust -> Ghost and Tweezer -> Julius are two far more compelling segues than anything that show has to offer (notwithstanding the awesomeness of Tweezer -> Simple). You could see Ghost coming from a mile away much like Sand -> Ghost from Dick’s ’12. The two segues are quite different, but both share the same patience, oozy-ness, and clearness of direction that makes for “summa dat good shit.” The segue into Julius is distinctly unique and honestly my favorite part of the show.

I’ll leave plenty of room for complaints about the abruptness of Ghost > Birds, but Birds actually contains plenty of compelling jamming. In fact, Birds is not a song I’m normally a fan of, but the playing in this version was actually compelling enough to catch my full attention when I wasn’t paying that close attention in the first place. And that’s coming from the snooty jazz-degree-holding side of me. It was set up to blast into some deep territory when Trey decided to start the ending, which was subsequently botched, but what is there is really Grade A stuff. And let’s be real, there have been far more significant miscues that go completely unnoticed when fans choose not to read into insignificant banter.

There is so much to love in this second set. If the first set were to blame for the credit this show doesn’t receive it would have to be a true train wreck, but it isn’t. I’m just truly perplexed as how little love this show gets. 10.21 isn’t a 4.7er, but it’s far far from a 3.2 as well.

*band infighting was commonly cited as a reason this show lacked quality which I don’t agree with because, well, I don’t think it lacked quality.


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